Roma Heroes: Sarah Vienna
I have also lived in Germany, England, and Romania.
Singer/Songwriter/Musician and Humanitarian Aid
How did you hear about Roma Boots?
I heard about Roma Boots through one of our Canadian volunteers that contributes to our
foundation and is also on our board. She told me about this Romanian guy that sells
boots and donates to charity. We connected because of our similar efforts that support
What is your favorite pair of Roma Boots and how do use them the most?
The Epaga Matte Black Boots, I love them because I use them more for style than rain! I
love military style because I always wanted to join the army when I was young, then I
realized I didn’t want to take cold showers.
Have you ever attended a Boot Drop with Roma Boots?
Yes, I attended in the Spring of 2013 in Budila, Romania.
What was your favorite story from the Boot Drop?
I would say taking off the kids’ old, muddy, and holey shoes, putting on new bright colored
boots, and then being able to see their amazed faces. I remember one particular kid
whose whole facial expression changed to joy; it was pretty touching, and that's what it was all about.
What is one word that describes your Boot Drop experience?
Special! There was just something special about it. It was just a time of joy and it felt like
Christmas in the spring.
As a humanitarian aid, what cause do you support?
I am the President of Firm Foundations Romania (FFR) which is located in Brasov,
Romania. We started projects that supported the orphans and Roma children in 2005
under an umbrella organization and FFR officially started in 2010. We have a multitude of
projects to include hospital vists, which fill voids in the lives of children that are
abandoned at the Brasov Children’s Hospital; a Kids Club, which is a curriculum that
aims to teach the children about the Bible, hygiene, proper manners, and behavior;
an After School Program for Roma and Romanian children who are underprivileged and
struggling; and a High School Mentorship program, which aims to support teenagers from
Budila to become productive and self-sufficient individuals who contribute to society.
What is the background of the Romanian people?
Romania was a communistic country from 1945 to 1989. During the reign of Nicolae
Ceausescu the Romanian people suffered greatly. Ceausescu brought the country to the
brink of starvation and poverty. The people were required to only have a certain number
of children, a lights off curfew was enforced, and the people were extremely limited and
controlled in regards to everyday living. To this day, the Romanian people are recovering
and rebuilding a new life of freedom.
After Ceausescu was overthrown, orphanages filled with children were discovered
and found in inhumane conditions. The children were in rags, covered in their
own feces, and tied down to their beds. These children suffered tremendous physical and
emotional abuse due to the neglect of their caretakers and the State. News of this
discovery spread all over the world and many people came to their aid. Even with the aid
of others and the government’s efforts to prevent abandonment, according to UNICEF, at
least 9,000 babies are still abandoned each year. The need is great and we still need as
much help as we can get.
As a singer/songwriter, do you connect your music to your cause?
As a musician and a songwriter I have been using music to write and share the story of
our mission. That’s how I explain who I am. I am not touring full time but I have
collaborated with Jason Castro. Being able to mix the story of our mission and my music
just makes me feel like I am living out my passion and dream.
What is your favorite music?
I enjoy all kinds of music! I can listen to pop, rock, country, anything that has a good
What is your genre of music considered?
People say my sound is pop, rock, and country. They compare my new EP, which is
coming out soon, to Adele, Kelly Clarkson, and Fleetwood Mac.
Do you have any future events coming up?
Yes, a benefit concert called unWANTED named after a song I wrote about the orphans.
It will be on May 20th at WoodsEdge Community Church in Spring,TX. The goal of the
event is for everyone to walk out feeling wanted and loved.
Will there be other artists performing at the benefit concert?
Yes, the Dallas String Quartet (DSQ). The Dallas String Quartet is an international
ensemble based in Dallas, TX playing contemporary music on electric string instruments.
DSQ will be playing some of my songs and I will be singing a couple of their songs. The
goal, however, is not to promote anyone’s name. It really is all about the cause.
What is the cause for the benefit concert?
We want the benefit concert to be an evening of hope and to be able to inspire people to
get involved by reaching out to those in need, particularly the orphaned and the Roma
children. It’s all about sharing the need of the orphans that feel unwanted and unloved.
We will also share about our programs our foundation offers and how our efforts
contribute to making those we serve feel wanted and loved. We want them to know that
they are teachable, that they have a future, and that they have goals that are attainable.
We want to take the audience through the orphans' and Roma children’s journey, which
begins with their struggle and the way things were for them, and lead them into the hope
our efforts have provided. We want everyone to leave feeling the hope these children
have through organizations like FFR, Roma Boots, and many others.
If you would like to learn more and support Sarah Vienna’s cause visit her page HERE.
Tickets for the unWANTED benefit concert HERE.